Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Favorites

Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday favorites

#1 My BFF

First off, it's my best friend's birthday today - she is definitely one of my favorites!  
Happy Birthday, Erin!

We have no recent photos together - boo!  Here is one from freshman year of college (taken 16 years ago!) - Erin is top row, maroon shirt! 

And here's one from my wedding where she was my matron of honor (this one is only 9 years old ;))

#2 Flowers

I love have fresh flowers around the house.  In Edinburgh, fresh flowers seemed to be so inexpensive (probably because of the conversion rate and my stellar math skills).  I especially loved when the daffodils were in bloom and, I could walk to Tesco and buy a bunch for a mere 1 GBP.

My dad works for a wholesale floral company, so we're never lacking flowers. I love flowers as long as they aren't high maintenance (read: I will enjoy them until they die, but I will not tend to them so that they last longer - it kills the enjoyment of them because that is work).

#3 My Slow Cooker

Since we moved from Edinburgh in 2014, I've been out of a cooking rhythm and my slow cooker has been majorly underused. The last two weeks I've made:

Slow Cooker Pot Roast
What you'll need:
red wine to taste (maybe a 1/2 cup)
1 can beef broth
1 can of smooth cranberry sauce
onion soup mix
Pot Roast meat
3 potatoes diced (I used Idaho because that's what I had)
1 medium yellow onion
small bag of baby carrots
1. Pour broth, cranberry sauce, and wine into slow cooker and which till fairly combined  
2. Add 1/3 of the onion to broth
3. Put in roast and sprinkle soup mix over it
4. Add the rest of the vegetables
5. Add more liquid (water, broth, wine etc) if it looks like it needs it
6. Cook on high for 4 -6 hours or low for 8-10 hours

Delicious one dish meal!

Cilantro Lime Chicken
adapted from October Morning Blog
What you'll need:
4 chicken breasts
4 limes
a bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small bag of frozen corn
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp cumin
garlic salt
1. Place chicken in slow cooker and sprinkle a little garlic salt and cumin.  
2. Squeeze two limes over chicken
3. Add minced garlic, beans, cilantro, corn, onion. 
4. Stir slightly without disturbing the chicken and squeeze third lime over the mixture
5. I added water so that it was covering the bottom of my slow cooker
6. Cook on high for 4 -6 hours or low for 8-10 hours

After it was done cooking, I shredded the chicken inside the slow cooker and served it in a tortilla with an extra lime on the side.  Taylor added hot sauce to his and my salsa would also go well on it.  You could also serve it over rice.

Now that Taylor is teaching a class once a week during dinnertime, I will definitely be using my slow cooker more often!  Which leads to my next favorite...

#4 My favorite professor

So proud of this guy - his students are going to love him!

#5 My little ballerina

All this little girl wanted for Christmas was ballet clothes!  She started her very first ballet class this semester, and she is loving it.  How cute is she?!  Love this sweet girl!

#6 My Kindle Paperwhite

I had a Kindle Fire that died recently and got a Paperwhite for my birthday last month and I LOVE it.  I used my Fire some, but I'm using my Paperwhite all of the time.  I'm not sure if it's the size or the fact that I don't feel like I'm looking at a screen, but did I mention I love it?  I've always been a book girl - definitely prefer to hold a book in my hand and be able to flip back and forth easily, but my Kindle is so convenient.  The Amazon monthly book deals are fun too though the last book I got through this was a FLOP.  I'll review it for my February Goals post at the beginning of next month.

#7 Lush "Perfect Roll Tab Sleeve Tunic

Sheaffer got me onto this shirt a month ago when she named it a must have, and I love it.  I'm always looking for long tunic shirts to wear with jeans or leggings and at this sale price, it was a no brainer.  I got it in tawny port and ivory - the ivory is pretty sheer but looks fine with a tank under it - not sure that I'm going to keep it though.  Nordstrom is so easy to shop online with their shipping and free returns!


Last but certainly not least is the Houston Church Planting Network.  This is a movement to unite churches to saturate the city, to collaborate with one another not compete for "our" turf, and to multiply so that there are Gospel centered churches in every community.  Houston is growing at an incredible rate and although we have a large number of healthy evangelical churches already present in the city, planting churches is necessary to keep up with our current population growth!  Pastor, Tim Keller, says this about church planting:

"The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for
1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal
and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else--not crusades, outreach programs,
para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting, nor church
renewal processes--will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting. This
is an eyebrow raising statement. But to those who have done any study at all, it is not even

controversial. "

We recently were invited to Neartown Church's vision and birthday dinner. Russell Cravens, Neartown's lead pastor invited us along with Roswell Smith, the pastor of The Church at UH, and Sergio Garcia from Kerusso Grace Church.  It has been such a blessing to make connections, share resources, and be a part of each other's ministries thanks in large part to HCPN.

Happy Friday!


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